Business R&D activities and achieving the 4 % R&D intensity (Etlatieto Oy)
Research group: Business renewal Research began: 2020 Research ended: 2021 Sponsored by: Prime Minister's Office (VN TEAS funding)

Responsible for research:

Business R&D activities and achieving the 4 % R&D intensity (Etlatieto Oy)

Business R&D activities and achieving the 4 % R&D intensity (Etlatieto Oy)

The Government has set a goal of research, development and innovation inputs to increase to 4 % by 2030. The objective is very ambitious. Achieving it requires remarkable and properly targeted substantial efforts in both private and public sector. In this research project the focus will be specifically in R&D activities because it is more precisely defined than RDI activities.

The aim of the this research project is to produce new information about factors affecting companies’ R&D investments. The project analyzes the R&D activities of companies operating in Finland now and in the future. The aim is to produce good understanding of what factors affect companies’ decision about R&D activities. This gives an idea what factors in Finland encourages to R&D acitivities and what things prevent to it.

The project also analyzes with which countries Finland competes for the location of R&D activities and which factors determine the location decision. This is crucial knowledge when measures of public sector and their efficiency to increase R&D activities are discussed. The project will collect new knowledge with business surveys, business interviews and workshops. In addition, unique information on the scope of companies’ R&D activities abroad is utilized.

The research project will answer following research questions:

  • What is the role of R&D activities and what are its bottlenecks and intentions in different companies and in different sectors?
  • What internal and external factors in companies encourages most to R&D investments and what factors prevent it?
  • How the development of R&D investments is more broadly connected to the reluctance to invest and grow in Finland?
  • What is the significance of different public supports and other incentives to companies’ R&D activities?
  • How cooperation of companies’, universities’ and research institutes can be intensified?
  • How public actors and financiers can help companies more precisely to succeed on the world markets through high levels of knowledge and R&D?

By answering these questions the research project aims to produce timely situational picture to decision makers of the means which they can best promote the innovation. Based on the results, policy conclusions can be made by what means public sector could most effectively increase innovation activities in Finland.

This project consists of three phases.

The first phase makes an international statistical comparison about the R&D activities in different countries. R&D comparison is made at sectoral level considering especially the countries that are comparable to Finland. In addition this phase delves into the latest international research literature about R&D activities.

The second phase obtains new information of the causes why the growth of companies’ R&D expenditures has remained quite modest in the 2010s. Furthermore the results will clarify what are the factors that encourage and what prevent R&D investments.

The goal of the third phase is to recognise trends and solutions to boost R&D investments in cooperation with stakeholders and build common understanding and dialogue between different stakeholder groups.

This research project will also carry out two workshops with the aim of presenting the results and have conversations about conclusions and recommendations. Second Progress report will be made in late autumn 2020. When all the results of the research project are completed, a final seminar will be organized in connection with the publication of the report, to which representatives of various stakeholder groups will be widely invited.


VTT and Forefront Oy are also participating in the project.

Responsible for research: